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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Helicopter Searches Grand Lake After Possible Crash

A Cormorant Helicopter and a Hercules aircraft conducting a search of Grand Lake after reports of a plane crashing in the area this afternoon.

Major Paul Doucette of the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Halifax tells CHSJ News no planes are reported overdue and they have no confirmation that a plane crashed in the water.
 He tells us they received eyewitness reports of a plane going into the water so based on the evidence and the detail they decided to respond.
Doucette adds there were no distress calls in the area.

Pension Board Lawyer Paints Ferguson As Evasive

Pension Board Lawyer Barry Morrison says defended John Ferguson has been difficult to deal with during the entire legal proceedings of his defamation suit.

Morrison says Ferguson has been hard-nosed in his defense, evasive during the the discovery process, and had to be ordered by a judge to answer certain questions

He says Ferguson would do things like not accept statements of claim and has exasperated the case but Ferguson counters he was acting on the advice of his lawyers.

Morrison also questioned Ferguson about why he dropped his justification defense, which would have required Ferguson to prove that all of his statements were true.

Ferguson says he believes in what he has said and the only reason why justification was dropped was because his insurance company would not pay to go down that arduous route.

Ferguson resumes his testimony tomorrow morning at 9 at the Court of Queen's Bench.

Penobsquis Farms Gets Over $300K To Expand

Between Fredericton and Ottawa, a Penobsquis farm receives over $300,000 in funding.

Cardwell Farms Compost Products will use the money to expand its compost, topsoil and bark mulch operations to meet increasing demand.

The company produces quality certified organic soil amendments and mulches.

With markets in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States, Cardwell Farms has the capacity to produce about 65,000 tonnes of compost and soil amendments a year.

Rothesay Police Warns Of Stolen Items For Sale

Rothesay Regional Police issuing a warning about some hot construction equipment that some people may be trying to unload in the valley or beyond.

On the 10th, Police got a complaint about a theft from a construction company.

Over 10 thousand dollars in equipment was stolen including chainsaws and generators but the theft was only recently discovered.

Police tell CHSJ News some of these items may be sold to unsuspecting citizens.

If you think an item may be stolen, contact police and have them check the property.

If you have any information about this theft, please contact Sgt. Craig MacDougall at 506-847-6300 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Sea Dogs Not Dismissing Chicoutimi As Lesser Challenge

It's back to business tomorrow night for the Sea Dogs who will play Chicoutimi in the opening game of the third round at Harbour Station.

Very few people expected Chicoutimi to get by Shawinigan in the second round or for that matter, Halifax to beat Quebec after losing the first three games of that series.

Sea Dogs President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News nothing can be taken for granted and he expects a tough physical series.

The Sea Dogs are staging the “Paint the Town Blue” contest encouraging fans in the Saint John area to show their community pride by displaying Sea Dogs logos and colours prominently in their homes or places of business.

You then upload your photos and the three highest totals of “Likes” in each of the two categories will win prizes.

To take part in the contest, click here

Mel Norton Opens Campaign Office

By the sound and size of the crowd, you would think the job was in the bag.
Saint John mayor candidate Mel Norton speaking to supporters today at the packed opening of his campaign office.

Norton tells CHSJ News maintaining his law practice if elected will not impact his ability to be the mayor.

He wants everyone in Saint John to remember that the number one priority for whoever is elected is the job of mayor.  Norton says as he talks with people he hears concerns about the pension crisis and the state of city sidewalks.

What Did Saint John Have To Do With San Diego?

Former Common Councillor John Ferguson's comparison of the pension plan problems in San Diego with those of the city took up much of the cross examination at his defamation trial.

Ferguson told the court he was referring to both pension plans being underfunded and not the serious allegations of fraud that were being investigated in San Diego.
Nevertheless, City Solicitor John Nugent called the comparison "egregious" and former Fincne Commissioner Andrew Beckett charged Ferguson was implying extortion was taking place. Ferguson vehemently denies making any such accusation. 
Pension Board lawyer Barry Morrison challenged Ferguson by suggesting all the publicity over his criticism of the city's pension plan was part of his plan. Ferguson disagreed claiming his concern was that the pension plan was not getting any better in spite of double digit returns on its investments.

Mayoral Candidates To Take Part In Social Development Forum

In what will be the first of many forums, the 4 mayoral candidates will taking part in a discussion about social development in the city.

The event is being hosted by the Human Development Council and UNB Saint John's Urban Institute.

HDC Executive Director Randy Hatfield tells CHSJ News there will be no talk of the 3 P's -- Peel Plaza, the pension, or parking garages.

He says the forum will be about social development and he wants the candidate's positions on poverty reduction, neighbourhood revitalization, recreation, and transportation.

The forum takes place tomorrow at noon at the UNB Grand Hall.

Hatfield wants the public to submit questions to the candidates and you can do so by clicking here.

Province Releases Health Budget

The Department of Health releasing it's 2012-2013 budget, which is up up 49 million dollars to a total of 2.58 billion dollars.

Key spending in the budget includes 2 million for the recruitment of nine new family physicians and one specialist, 5 million for primary health care and 1.75 million dollars for the implementation of the provincial colon cancer screening program.

The department will also invest 49 million in health facilities and equipment.

Pharmacists Warn Of Cuts To Service

The Executive Director of the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association says serious changes could be in store thanks to changes in the province's Generic Drug Policy.

The prices of generic drugs will be dropping in June and Paul Blanchard says the province needs to increase dispensing fees and mark-up in order to keep in the black.

He says if changes are not made, it's the customer that will end up paying the price.

Pharmacists may have to start charging for adapting prescriptions -- something he says they do about 20-thousand times a month as well as cut jobs and reduce store hours.

He adds the province plans to reinvest less that 30 percent of its savings into pharmacy services whereas other provinces reinvest an average of 50 percent.

John Ferguson Defamation Trial

Two Suspects Sought For Home Invasion On West Side

We know a bit more about the home invasion and robbery late Tuesday night between 11:30 and midnight in the Milford Trailer Park.

Police are on the lookout for two men, thought to be in their 20's, believed responsible.

A 66 year old man was home by himself at the time but didn't sustain any injuries. 

Police are asking anyone with information that could lead to arrests to give them a ring at 648-33-33 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-tips.